Cooling

I look at you, old man.

I look at you and I know I never want to be old. It’s everything I can do to keep from screaming “Do you want to die?” every time I see your cadaverously drawn face, the ashen skin, white coarse hair sparsely covering your spotted scalp. Cracked lips, fetid breath, shaking neck lead down to your withered body, weak and decaying.

I look at you, and I know there is still someone inside that doesn’t understand how his body has betrayed him by being mortal. The spark inside burns; the organism outside cools. Do your thoughts turn to suicide? Do you want just not to be at all instead of being infirm and unsure?

Life lusts for life, of course, and any life without pain is probably a good life. Your ghostly image with its rictus smile reflecting back at me reminds me of how much I need you, how much I would miss you if you were gone.

Ghost or not, I love you. I turn from the mirror.

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One thought on “Cooling

  1. Tight and well-written, I didn’t see anything I would clean up. Your descriptions are sharp and vivid, and the last line really hits home. Excellent piece of flash fiction, you might wish to consider submitting it for publication with a suitable magazine or paper. Thanks for sharing.

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